Mar 23, 2019

Ground Pork and Chinese Basil AKA Da Pao Fried Rice 打拋豬肉風炒飯

Da pao pork, simply put it this way, is a Thai style stir-fry dish made with ground pork, Thai basil or Chinese basil, cherry tomatoes, and some Asian seasonings. Instead of going solo, this time I'm combining da pao pork with rice. To make it even better, it has to be topped with a sunny side up egg, that oozing yolk is always a plus.

Ground pork and Chinese basil AKA da pao fried rice -

Ingredients (for 2 to 3 portions)?

  • 2 rice cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 300 grams ground pork
  • 2 to 3 eggs
  • 1 small bundle Thai or Chinese basil
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 skinny cucumber
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 red chilies 
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon caned sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • Some olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper


Cook the rice first with a little bit less water than usual. Otherwise, cook the rice the day before and store in the fridge. The goal is to get the grains with less moisture, more suitable for fried rice that way.

Peel and dice the onion. Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Destem red chilies and finely chop the remaining section. Dice the skinny cucumber into smaller cubes. Finely chop the Chinese basil but do save a few sprigs for garnish. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Slice the lemon into few wedges.

Use a wok or a big pan, drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and turn to high heat. Also add in onion, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix and sear till the onion turns slightly browned. 

Add in chopped garlic and red chilies, cook till aromatic but not burning the garlic bits. 

Transfer the ground pork over, stir-fry for about 1 minute.

Add in 1 teaspoon of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of Sriracha. Mix and cook till the mixture nearly dried up.

Add in halved cherry tomatoes and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Then it goes chopped Thai or Chinese basil, give it a quick mix.

Mix in precooked rice in two batches. Make sure all the grains are coated with the seasonings before adding the second batch. Lower the heat a little if need more time flipping the rice around.

Take a non-stick pan to make the sunny side up eggs. Drizzle some oil and turn to medium high heat. Once hot, break in the eggs and sprinkle tiny bit of salt and black pepper over. Sear till the edge gets slightly browned but the center yolks are still semi-runny.

Plate the fried rice and top with diced cucumber. Transfer sunny side up eggs over, 1 egg for each portion. Garnish with fresh basil and lemon wedges. Sprinkle some more black pepper on top.

Can't hold on to the yolk any longer.

Depending on how spicy the chilies are, that runny yolk can actually help soothing out some burning pain if tears start falling down.  

Other fried rice recipe:

Mar 16, 2019

Sun-Dried and Salt-Aged Radish Soup 陳年蘿蔔干燉雞湯

Dark is good. Dark means delicious, and so is this Chinese soup made with Silkie chicken and black colored aged radish.

Sun-dried and salt-aged radish soup - 


  • 1/2 cup loosely packed sun-dried salt-aged radish
  • 1/2 medium sized Silkie chicken
  • 5 to 6 dried big shiitake or similar type of mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • Some salt (if needed)


Sun-dried and salt-aged radish can be kept for years, and the ones I used here probably were stored for at least 3 years.

Rinse these radishes gently then pat dry. Cut away the very bottom of dried mushroom stems if desired, rinse then soak in cold water till the mushrooms turned soft. Keep that water, need to add in to the soup later on.

Cut the chicken into big pieces. Quickly blanch the chicken and set aside for later use.

Peel the garlic cloves. Thickly slice the ginger, keep the skin on.

Prepare a clay pot and drizzle some sesame oil. Turn to medium high heat and add in garlic cloves and ginger slices. Wait till the oil gets hard and starts searing these aromatic ingredients. Sear till colored but not burnt.

Add in chicken and sear for about 30 seconds.

Pour in the water used to soak the mushrooms, extra 5 1/2 cups of water, and radishes. Bring to a boil and scoop out any brownish foam floating on the surface.

Lower the heat a little to keep it at a simmer. Cook for another 10 minutes or so then transfer the mushrooms over. Continue to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Taste and see if more salt is needed. However, the dried radishes were salt-aged, so for myself, no additional salt were needed. Add in goji berries and cook for another 5 minutes.

Goji berries are crucial, since this soup can be on the salty side, adding something sweet to the mixture can balance off the flavors. A few more dried jujubes can also be added if preferred.

Dark is great.